Did you know learning a new language can stave off Alzheimers? Even if you are too young to worry about that, multilingualism provides numerous benefits. You can add it as a skill to your resume, find new friends across the globe, and get a better grasp of foreign cultures and traditions. The possibilities for personal growth are endless! If you are making your first unsteady steps towards mastering a new language, you might use our collection of popular language learning myths.
You Can Learn the Language for Fun
Have you heard the old saying that it takes 10,000 hours to master a new skill? It translates into years of hard work and constant practice for you to truly learn a new language. Are you ready to work hard? To sustain your motivation throughout the years, make a list of all the reasons you wish to learn the language. Describe the benefits you will get, once you overcome this challenge. Keep the list close and turn to it when your motivation is waning.
You Must Memorize the Dictionary
Did you realize we only use about four thousand words in our everyday life? Thats hardly the whole extent of the English vocabulary. Luckily, the same principle applies to most foreign languages. So before you start with the letter A in your dictionary, find a list of the most common words and make them your top priority. Once you learn a couple thousands of words, you will be able to understand most of the written texts, which will motivate you to continue your studies.
Long Sessions Are Better Than Short Regular Lessons
Do you remember how much time learning a language takes? Now consider your schedule and choose the dates and times you are willing to sacrifice to studies. Schedule your linguistic sessions regularly. You cant spend your weekends cramming the knowledge into your head only to avoid it on school nights. Practice as often as you can, even if your sessions last no more than half of an hour. Six 30-minute lessons per week are better than one three hours long session.
Books Are the Only Way to Learn
Can you imagine talking like Shakespeare's or Hemingway's characters in real life? It could be even worse to talk like a textbook, so dont limit your studies to written text. Listen to podcasts or watch movies without translation. You can turn on the subtitles, just not in English. Of course, you wont be able to understand every word, but dont get frustrated. The tone and pitch are also important, as well as commonly used phrases and words you will never find in your study guide.
Mistakes Mean You Will Never Master a Language
Have you ever heard that children are better at learning languages than adults? It is a common misconception, that was recently debunked by research. The only difference between kids and their parents is the childrens fearlessness in the face of mistakes. Grown-ups are often embarrassed by the smallest of errors. They readily give up studies to avoid emotional discomfort. If you are serious about learning a language, dont torture yourself over every small error, learn from it and move on.
Dont Talk to Native Speakers Until You Master the Language
Did you know, that the most effective language learning technique requires full immersion into the foreign environment? If you cant travel to Spain of Japan, at least find someone who actually speaks the language you are learning as a native. If there are no available native speakers around, find them online. There are dozens of websites connecting people learning new languages. Platforms like italki or WeSpeke are both a good starting point.
After a few months of seemingly no progress, you might be ready to tap out and forget about your ambitious multilingualism goals. But dont give up so soon! Remember why you decided to embark on this journey, start with the core words, practice regularly. The more you listen to the podcasts and movies and talk to native speakers, the more confident you will become. One day soon you will actually enjoy your language sessions and feel you have reached the desired proficiency level.